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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in Clackamas, you may be thinking when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you need to cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a sturdy piece of equipment. It’s designed to take on severe weather, including extreme temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap moisture. Too much wetness inside your equipment can cause internal components to rust or turn moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two seasons that are great for using a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and obstruct your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more energy to cool your residence.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Central Air Inc heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and examine critical components. This often allows us to identify problems before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several tips on selecting the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air circulating, a protective air conditioner cover should only encompass the top of your equipment and a couple of inches on the side.

Full AC covers can trap moisture inside your equipment, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your air conditioner a cozy home for animals, which could sever wires.

Related: What New Homeowners Need to Know About Their Air Conditioner

Don’t Use Plastic or Vinyl Covers

Plastic or vinyl covers stop air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your unit. The best type of fabric is one that’s breathable, like canvas or mesh.

Related: How AC Repair & Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money

When to Use an Air Conditioner Cover

If you want to use an air conditioner cover, here are the best times to put it on.

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Summer

A lightweight mesh cover during the summer allows your air conditioner to run unrestricted while keeping grass clippings and twigs out.

Related: How Do I Know if My Air Conditioner is Running Properly?

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Fall

A breathable canvas cover will halt leaves, nuts and other debris from getting into your equipment.

Related: Tips for Cleaning Your System

Cover Your Air Conditioner Before Severe Weather

You can temporarily cover your air conditioner in the winter when you know a blizzard is coming. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your AC can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a bad storm is imminent in Clackamas. Hail can severely damage your system’s fins, altering efficiency.

Related: How Severe Weather Can Lead to AC Repair

We Can Help Your AC System Run Efficiently

Whether you have questions about heating and cooling or need air conditioning service, Central Air Inc provides aid. Give us a call at 503-389-5307 or schedule an appointment online.

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